I cringe whenever I read of debut novels, or debut novelists.
It happened unintentionally. I followed a series of internet links that carried me into a blind alley. I was perusing social media on a Sunday morning and encountered a post about The Timberline Review. It’s a new literary journal, cooked up by Oregon writers, good people committed to fostering the art and craft of writing. … Continue reading Down the Rabbit Hole: Writer or Performer?
Designer Jane Pellicciotto recently commented on “The Third-Person Bio Problem.” She wasn’t referring to biographical books, but the short blurbs we post to our web sites for the purpose of self-promotion. Jane suggests that it’s pretentious. I had to wince because, yes, I’ve done it too. But I think there’s more. I’ve been asked to … Continue reading The Burdens of Self-Promotion: the Bio Problem
In the current issue of Poets and Writers. Michael Bourne offers an inventory of his own writing effort and its incumbent frustrations. In "Why We Write: Failure is an Option," he asks a question I've long sought to answer: why do writers write when it can be such unsatisfying work? His answer: "I keep writing … Continue reading Why Writers Write
As I’ve started circulating my novel to agents, I’ve received the question – always from women – “Why is your protagonist a man?” I then say, “Why do you ask?” They reply, “I just wondered.” Obviously there’s a subtext to the question that they’re not sharing. I’ve wondered if they feel a woman can’t write … Continue reading Women Writing Men
Over dinner with a few writers the conversation evolved to a discussion of agents. Two present had met agents through local writers conferences. Both were invited to submit writing samples. Neither heard from the agents. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the story. Here’s what I’ve gleaned about the matchmaking business that occurs at … Continue reading Casting Calls and Writers Conferences
It usually starts like this. “I’d really like to read your work.” This comes from a casual acquaintance, someone who wants to read what I write. Me in particular. I don’t know why. They know me from the office or the gym. They aren’t people with whom I feel a deep spiritual kinship. They’re casual … Continue reading Perilous Ground